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back-friendly bikes?(5 posts)

back-friendly bikes?Jay18
Aug 20, 2001 9:59 AM
Earlier this year, at the age of 60, I decided to try biking. Since I've had chronic back problems, the LBS recommended a hybrid.I bought the bike, and have enjoyed riding it, but it's heavy and slow. I'd like to be able to go farther and faster, and have started to think about a road bike. My question is, are there any bikes whose geometry and/or general construction are more back (and neck) friendly than the others? My budget would be $1,000 (or less). Thanks for any help.

a recumbentalex the engineer
Aug 20, 2001 10:41 AM
is probably what you should be looking for. Road bikes will be harder on your back/neck than the hybrid will. their frames are, almost without exception, designed for speed, rather than comfort. a touing bike will give you a better ride, but won't be much help for your back.
a dittoAkirasho
Aug 20, 2001 10:57 AM
Recumbents come in many varieties but virtually all of them (save for a few extreme HPV streamliners) are body friendly. might give you some useful info

You could probably find a decent 'bent at $1000 (though you'd find a bit higher qualities at the +$1500 mark). Also note that Cannondale has shown a prototype of their new 'bent... but it probably won't be cheap!

This is not to rule out an upright, just an alternative.

Be the bike.
re: back-friendly bikes?Markb
Aug 20, 2001 10:54 AM
Softride will help with your back, but a new model won't meet your budget limit. A used Softride should get within your budget constraints. I have a Solo, and my back and I love it. Fitting the bike is probably as important as the type of bike you buy. Good Luck.
re: back-friendly bikes?Mel Erickson
Aug 20, 2001 11:03 AM
Depends on your back problem. Disk? Arthritis? There is an endless number of back problems. Sitting often aggravates a bad lumbar disk problem and a recumbent might make matters worse. However, a recumbent is reportedly very comfortable. My friend raves about his. They're ultra fast on the downhills and fast on the flats. Hills are another matter, get ready to be passed. I've found significant relief for my back problem (bulging lumbar disk) with a Softride ( I've got the Solo. Rivendell ( has a different philosophy about how a bike should be built and set up and they are also reported to be very comfortable. Some of the newer hybrids are pretty light (23#) and if you get along well on one now you might check out the Specialized Sirrus, Cannondale Road Warrior and several others. These hybrids would be under $1,000. You can get recumbents for under $1,000 but they are heavier and have lower grade components. The rest (Softride, Rivendell) would be more than $1,000 unless you went used.